How to Delegate Better

ThinkstockPhotos-499742164Have you ever delegated work to a contract or associate attorney and been disappointed with the result? It may be that you need to improve your delegating skills. Here are some tips to help you get the results you want. Continue reading

Moving Tactically: Should You Make a Motion?

465153001Motions are tactical tools, and your decision to seek an order should be made in the context of your overall litigation plan. Always keep in mind that making a motion entails time, effort, and expense for the moving party. Is it worth it? Continue reading

6 Ways to Help Clients Avoid a Data Breach

ThinkstockPhotos-478305224It is not “if” but “when” your client will be the victim of a data breach. But despite the growing risks and many high-profile breaches, there are still businesses that are woefully underprepared. Here’s how you can help your clients mitigate risk associated with data breaches well before an incident occurs. Continue reading

Headings Are Key to an Effective Document

Whatever document you’re drafting—from a memorandum for a partner to a brief for the court—using clear and concise headings and subheadings will take your reader by the hand and lead them smoothly through your document. Here’s some advice from noted appellate attorneys Daniel U. Smith and Valerie T. McGinty on making your headings as useful and effective as possible. Continue reading

How to Be a Happier Lawyer

ThinkstockPhotos-452416665The following is a guest blog post from Susan Joan Davidson, a Dispute Resolution Specialist in Berkeley, CA. Susan specializes in real estate, business, family, and personal coaching on conflict avoidance, arbitration, mediation, and facilitation.

Most lawyers reach a point when they wonder: Am I spending more time stressed and miserable than I am challenged and fulfilled? We’ve been trained to win at all costs, but even when we succeed, we still remember what we did wrong. Self-evaluation has its place, but the adage “We are velcro for criticism and Teflon for praise” is no more true than in the legal profession. There are ways to make even small changes in our professional lives that will bring happiness into focus and allow tension to recede into the background. Continue reading

Review Your Hourly Fee Agreement

ThinkstockPhotos-481542709Hourly billing for legal services has been criticized for, among other things, discouraging attorney efficiency and providing the client with no predictability of cost (see, e.g., ABA Commission on Billable Hours Report 2001-2002) and has even been declared dead. But traditional hourly billing is still the most common type of fee arrangement in many types of practices. If you go the hourly route for at least some of your practice, review these points to be sure you are following best practices and are in compliance with the law. Continue reading

How to Make Your Negotiations More Efficient

ThinkstockPhotos-179694134Conducting settlement discussions without an agenda is like driving to an unfamiliar destination without a map: It’s possible, but not very efficient. If time and professionalism are valuable to you, conduct your negotiations with an agenda. Continue reading

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